Monday, 29 February 2016

Jumia’s Modern Slave Camp in Nigeria

…How the management has been Maltreating their Nigerian Staff


Slavery is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as submission to a dominating influence. Though it has been about 150 years since slave trade was abolished, it is however a normal thing in some parts of the world for some people to stylishly position themselves in such a way that there is little difference between them and the slave masters of old. In a practice that can be said to be modern-day slavery, and it is mostly practised by governments, organisations and people who feel they are way above the common man. Recent investigation revealed a modern slavery may have emerged in Nigeria in Jumia Nigeria, if truly slavery means forcing people to doing things they otherwise wouldn’t have wanted to do.

It all started some months back, when on a visit to the Area G police headquarters, Ogba, Lagos, a staff of Jumia Nigeria was detained and locked up, even when the allegation against him lacked merit. The case involved a staffer, who was in the processing department, accused of collecting an IPhone 6 belonging to a merchant and absconding with it. But, whereas he was on afternoon shift and therefore was not permitted to enter into the premises before 1:15pm, when he will be resuming for work – to close by 9:30pm – the phone was missing by 9 a.m., a clear indication that the phone could not be traced in any way to him.

He was detained for days on the instruction of Jumia, which insisted  that he must write a statement accepting that he was responsible for the missing phone. While this was ongoing his salary was stopped on the pretext that it was being used to pay for the phone he was being forced to admit stealing. The way and manner of the whole case raised eyebrows and, on a closer look, it was discovered that his dilemma started when it was discovered by the management of Jumia that the staff in question had been sending out applications for positions in other organisations.
Juliet Amamah Jumia Nigeria MD

This principle of the company we traced to the not-too-attractive condition of service Jumia, a company owned by the Internet Rocket Media Group, France, put their staff. Information made available by some staff is that the working rules change from time to time, depending on the mood of the management. The sources stated that the company decided in the last two years not to confirm the appointments of staff, contrary to the agreement of a six-month probation period they signed. The management is also said to be very aggressive whenever they discover a staff is putting in applications to better their lot. Another incident is the case involving a staff whose mail box was hacked by the company, a situation that led to the management accusing the lady in question of selling company secrets to its competitor, after which she decided hand in her resignation. But even that was rejected and she was forced to sign for her letter of termination of employment, which was typed while she was held by the company security. She was further threatened that she would be locked up if she refused to sign for receipt of the termination-of-appointment letter.

The condition the company is said to subject its staff, especially those in processing, who have to stand for several hours with no break even when there is little or nothing to be done, is another cause for concern. Sources revealed that staffers stand for 10 hours, with no allowance for that. Further investigation also revealed that, in the case of missing items Jumia is quick to deduct such from the salary of the workers, but will never make refunds even when the items are later found.

As if the way they handle their staff is not bad enough, the manner in which they handle their merchants and customers is equally with disdain. Some of their merchants complained how the company also never follows signed agreements, as products damaged under the care of Jumia are not paid for by the company as signed in their agreement, thereby causing them series of losses. The company’s tepid attitude to its customers’ complaints is the reason customers now only pay after the goods delivered have been tested.

Efforts made to get the company’s side yielded little result, as the phone call and e-mail to the management was referred to Bertille Guitton, the Head of Communications and Public Relations of Jumia, who explained that staff are well treated. In her words: “We do not work 10 hours a day without sitting down or other assumptions. Jumia complies with every labour law put in place in this country as well as international standards, as we are an international company whose headquarters are based in Paris.

 “We pay Jumia staff the right amount that is stated in their contracts. Every single aspect of the contract that the employee has agreed to is respected. We created more than 2000 jobs in Nigeria in less than three years, and our employees adhere to our set of values, which is very high here. Whether you are a Managing Director or an operator, we expect everyone to have an exemplary behaviour at work, when meeting and dealing with clients, our shareholders, and evidently our vendors.’’ 

She concluded on a warning note: “We have a full-fledged legal service and we are compliant with every law in Nigeria.”

Friday, 26 February 2016

Ecobank Repositions for Improved Efficiency


Indications have emerged that the recent re-alignment that affected some senior staff at Ecobank Nigeria was in furtherance of a market repositioning exercise designed to strengthen the bank’s business across all markets where it operates.
 
Market feelers indicate that for a banking group that grossed over N315 billion in revenue and over N78billion in pre-tax profit in the third quarter of 2015, the Ecobank Group is on a growth trajectory. As at today, Ecobank remains one of Nigeria’s strongest financial institutions.
 
An industry analyst opined that the Bank appears to be putting more focus on cost efficiency and investment in key initiatives in its Transaction banking, Cards, and eBanking businesses, while also continuing to simplify its operations to better serve customers which will put the bank ahead of the competition.
 
Meanwhile, a source from within the bank says the recent restructuring came after a review of senior staff bench strength and industry standards. The source also revealed that it became necessary for the Bank to realign its work force for better efficiency in line with best practice.
  
Ecobank is said to have realigned certain roles bank wide and those who were affected by the exercise were adequately compensated.
 
The bank only recently promoted 300 staff, representing 10 per cent of the employees based on the bank’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding excellence and exceptional performance. The promoted staff cut across all cadres of the workforce.  He added that the Bank has also commenced a selection process of converting qualified non-core staff to permanent staff, in line with the Bank’s commitment to develop and grow talent by providing them with career paths that give them access to higher responsibilities.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

CKA: THE NOISELESS EDUCATIONAL TRAIL BLAZER


The Nigerian academic landscape changed quietly a few years ago with the entrance of a new world-class player: City of Knowledge Academy. This international standard Secondary school which continues to produce outstanding students may indeed be one of the best-kept secrets in the Nigerian education sector today.
 
Did you know that last year, 13-year old Chimelum Tasi-Amadi, a year 9 student of City of Knowledge Academy (CKA Int’l), noiselessly set an academic record when he effortlessly achieved the perfect score in the Cambridge Checkpoint Examination? Today, the outstanding feat by Tasi-Amadi has earned him placement at Phillips Academy Exeter USA (a world renowned Prep School that prepares students almost exclusively for the IVY League Universities in the USA). Yet, before the Cambridge Checkpoint Examination feat, both Tasi-Amadi and CKA had dazzled keen watchers of educational terrain with award-winning performances at both the American Mathematical Competition and the Cowbell Mathematics Competition.
 
Between 2015 and 2016, CKA has presented eleven (11) students of age range 10 to 14 years for the Microsoft System Administration Certification examinations and they all passed with flying colours. Today, these 11 students have all been certified by Microsoft as Systems Administrators with proficiency in MS-Words 2010.
 
These success stories and several others- which have not yet been fully told - point to CKA as an outstanding addition to the nation’s academic landscape, providing invaluable opportunities in a safe and secure environment for the holistic development of the child. The school uses a unique approach to teaching and learning on the three Cs of CULTURE (Local and cultural training and exposure; social awareness, respect and empathy); CHARACTER (Integrity, focus, commitment, principles and conscience); CONFIDENCE (Knowledge, diligence, academic excellence and mind wealth).
 
Situated on well-appointed grounds within the leafy and serene suburbs of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Nigeria, CKA is easily accessible via the Ore-Benin Express way. The school’s location offers a serene and conducive learning environment away from the stressful atmosphere of city life. In recent times, CKA has become known as ‘the quiet achiever.
 
This is not surprising as the founder Mrs. Mosun Belo-Olusoga herself is indeed the quintessential quiet achiever, known for saying often “let’s just do an excellent job and our job will speak for us”.  She is a devoted mother, distinguished professional, consummate business leader and administrator. Her successful career history of over 30years has been devoted to mentoring and building people and institutions in diverse sectors.
Mrs. Belo-Olusoga is an Economics graduate of the University of Ibadan, a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and an alumnus of Harvard Business School, USA. She sits on the board of several corporate institutions. She is passionate about knowledge sharing, personal and professional grooming and the quest to transform children into responsible, socially responsive and culturally balanced adults. City of Knowledge Academy is the vehicle for this vision.
To explore the City of Knowledge Academy (CKA) and get more information on this unique trail-blazing school where a new dimension to the educational landscape of Nigeria has been added, you can visit www.ckaintl.com.